Abstract by Austin Kerr

Personal Infomation

Presenter's Name

Austin Kerr

Degree Level


Abstract Infomation


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty Advisor

Daniel Austin


Printed Circuit Board Analyzer for Characterizing Martian Dust


Dust is a prominent feature of the surface and atmosphere of Mars affecting climate and atmospheric dynamics, creating global dust storms, and posing hazards to surface operations; however, charge of Martian dust particles has never been measured and previous measurements of mass have been variable. We aim to develop an instrument based upon charge detection mass spectrometry (CDMS) that will analyze the charge and the mass of dust particles on Mars. Using this methodology, we focus on using two, closely placed printed circuit boards patterned with charge sensing electrodes as the image charge detector array. A differentiating amplifier registers the image charge signal for charge measurements. A DC potential region then accelerates particle velocity and movement from which the mass-to-charge ratio can be calculated. This presentation will discuss current findings and experimental test setup of the instrument.